EPI Board of Directors
EPI’s Board comprises individuals with exceptional skills and knowledge who share a core belief in the power of science and experiential learning as a transformational force.
They all care deeply about nature, the environment, and the sustainability of the planet, and work tirelessly to get earth back on a healthy track for the benefit of generations to come.
Mike den Haan, Board Chair
Michael den Haan brings over 27 years of executive and board experience with organizations in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, Central America and Europe. Specializing in fundraising, communications, alumni and community engagement, governance, and leadership coaching,
David Wilson, Vice Chair
David brings professional expertise in marketing, brand building and strategic planning to his role on the EPI Board as well as experience in fundraising and non-profit leadership on both Boards and Foundations. He has a strong belief in the work EPI is doing and is committed to helping the organization achieve its goals.
Clara Rowe, Secretary
Campton, New Hampshire
Once an EPI Costa Rica instructor, Clara brings a decade of experience working across resource management, youth development, sustainable agriculture, and restoration to EPI’s Board of Director team to continue linking people to places.
Leslie Dallapiazza, Treasurer
Leslie Dallapiazza became connected with EPI during her banking career. Her enthusiasm for EPI's mission lies in her belief that young people are the key to conservation and addressing climate change. She is impressed by the dedication of EPI staff and board members to inspire youth and empower them through nature and science.
Julie Osborn is the co-founder of EPI. She continues to be motivated by the transformation she witnesses in EPI’s students, and the ways in which EPI offers otherwise unattainable opportunities to youth as well as the urgent need to address ecological damage to our planet.
Joel Pontius, Ph.D.
Joel, with 15 years of experience in educational leadership and expertise in place-based learning, holds a Ph.D. in Science Education and M.S. in Natural Science. Previously serving in director and professor roles, he encountered EPI during a directorship at Teton Science School, where he admired EPI's local leadership development and quality conservation education. As a writer, naturalist, musician, former Yellowstone guide, and father, he aims to contribute to EPI's work in nurturing emerging conservation leaders for a positive impact on current and future generations.
Jorge brings 30+ years of marine conservation and nonprofit expertise to EPI's board of directors. He was drawn to EPI's unique youth empowerment approach, volunteering to invest in a better future. Jorge is a strong advocate for conservation, citizen science, and gender equality in fisheries.
Becca's interest in EPI began with a trip to Pacuare Reserve in Costa Rica in 2010 - part of a larger course on sea turtle biology through Coastal Carolina University. There, they completed the data collection and research presentation aspects of the course and utilized the expertise and leadership of the EPI instructors.
T'Noya is passionate about community engagement, inquiry-based learning, and immersive experiences– making EPI's mission resonate with her deeply. T'Noya appreciates the opportunity to improve systems and sees the significance of deliberating methods to achieve more authentic and sustainable results alongside others.
Steve appreciates how his volunteer work with EPI keeps him connected to ecology and environmental education, and sees the powerful way it introduces students to fieldwork and scientific inquiry.
Whistler, British Columbia
Paul believes that a key factor to strengthening conservation is to have youth learn about eachother's land, ecology, and cultures, and to grow up sharing best practices around the globe as they emerge as leaders of the future.
Nature, science, and sustainability are at the core of Nicole Demeisi’s work at Bayer, and these values are what drew her to join EPI’s Board of Directors. She believes that by providing amazing learning opportunities EPI will empower individuals to lead their own sustainability efforts in new, unique ways.
Steve McCarthy (Emeritus)
Pacific Palisades, California
For Steve, it is important to work with young people so they understand the value of taking care of our planet and its flora and fauna, and using its resources carefully with a recognition that they are limited. EPI combines academic learning and practical activities to allow students to experience these issues for themselves.